Thursday: Duck report

I spent most of today dealing with duck and other logistic issues, and also heading to the library, which closes at 5 pm today for a minimum of two weeks. I have a stash of books at home, but am uncomfortable if it gets too low, so I also checked out the collected short stories of Katherine Mansfield and several novels by Eudora Welty (Francine Prose recommended these in another book I’m perusing: Reading Like a Writer.) Now, along with several cases of wine at home as well as lots of food and books, I’m set for whatever comes.

I just fed the ducks, too. We’re down to three drakes and two queens: Honey and Dorothy (Dot). I didn’t see Honey when I first went to the pond, and then heard quacking from above. I looked up and saw Her Flyness standing on a window ledge on the third floor of Erman, the building where she nested last year. I suspect she’s scoping out where to put her nest for this year. But when I went upstairs to get my camera, she flew back to the pond, swimming with Dot and her drake (it needs a name), with all three of these mallards chasing the other two males back and forth.

That chasing has impeded my feeding the hens, but there are fewer Weinsteins now and I managed to get both of the hens to eat. Here are some pictures of the trio of pals, and one video of the three chasing the two interloper drakes.

Dot is in front of Honey, with their wingman at the rear.

Here’s a video showing the continual pursuit of the two interloper drakes by Honey, Dot, and their Wingman (maybe I should just call him “Wingman”). They’d rather chase those drakes out of the pond than eat, but I did manage to get the two hens to eat a decent lunch.

And the customary postprandial preening in the duck ring. Honey’s in the rear.

Good times! And with most people gone from campus, the ducks won’t be disturbed and, I hope, will fatten up and breed prolifically.


  1. rickflick
    Posted March 19, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    They probably want to establish their territory early so later, in peace, they can pig out, get fat, and breed like it’s the last pond on Earth.

  2. Posted March 19, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Dot and her drake…Dash (ftw)

    • C.
      Posted March 19, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Beat me to it! Yes, Dash is the only logical name for the drake. Works well for the Morse code Dot and Dash and as a shortened for for Dashing, assuming he is handsome, for a duck, whatever that might mean.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted March 19, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose — nominative determinism strikes again!

  4. Simon Hayward
    Posted March 19, 2020 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Since I’m sitting home getting cabin fever, I’ll note that the a pair of diving “ducks” (I think mergansers) have just arrived outside and are fishing in the pond. Not competing with the mallards you’ll be happy to know! We see these going north in the spring and south in the fall – so I guess the season must be changing – as suggested by the recent change in the precipitation from solid to liquid phase.

  5. Mark R.
    Posted March 19, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I see many healthy ducklings in your future. 🐥🐥🐥🐥🐥🐥🐥🐥

  6. E.A. Blair
    Posted March 19, 2020 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    How about giving the unnamed drake a touch of nobility – Count Quackula.

  7. Posted March 19, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m so slow! Now I get why you chose the name Dorothy for Honey’s lady-in-waiting.

  8. eric
    Posted March 19, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Samuel L. Quackson.

    W.E.B. du Feet. (…du Pied, if you want to stick with French. Du Feet sounds more fun to me)

    Sax Mallard (Jazz saxophonist, deceased)

  9. Liz
    Posted March 19, 2020 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    It’s good they will let you still feed the ducks. I’ve considered my older sister, father, and aunt as workaholics but never myself until now. I guess I’ve always been a workaholic when it comes to religion, philosophy, and science.

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